actuator 45 days ago [-]
Previous discussion(13 hours back, 200+ comments): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25868713
reaperducer 44 days ago [-]
I know Alphabet put a lot of money into Loon, but it feels like it got a bunch of positive PR for not delivering. And it's not going to get nearly the same PR for canceling.

"Google delivers internet to poor parts of the world" is the headline in a thousand newspapers. Almost none will run "Google fails to deliver internet that it promised millions of poor people."

But we've been to this rodeo before. Google promised free WiFi to poor neighborhoods in Chicago a decade ago, then backed out when it found out that was hard.

44 days ago [-]
jamestimmins 44 days ago [-]
Most of the conversations around Loon seem to end up with the question "is X actually a good use of Google's money?"

So just a reminder that Google Brain started out as an X project, and by all accounts, it has created enormous financial value for Google.

tehjoker 44 days ago [-]
Can you elaborate? I thought Brain was a science division?
htrp 44 days ago [-]
From what I've been told (current or xooglers please chime in), Brain was a reward to one of their top engineers from the early days of Google to keep him around and let him solve interesting problems, it just happened to become a hub of neural network based ML research.
44 days ago [-]
whateveracct 44 days ago [-]
Looks like the FP Castle will need a new internet plan

https://fpcastle.com/

sib 44 days ago [-]
Thank you for the link to FP Castle! Their FAQ is a brilliant way to lighten up a Friday afternoon...
nine_k 44 days ago [-]
Now they could commandeer a few Starlink satellites :)
jmsflknr 44 days ago [-]
fataliss 44 days ago [-]
So I guess they realized that Starlink was gonna be a whole lot simpler to maintain. While probably not as cheap to start off, it might become it.
neom 44 days ago [-]
It was interesting to me that in the X blog post about Loon, they elevated Wing to the same level as Waymo: https://blog.x.company/loons-final-flight-e9d699123a96
cphoover 44 days ago [-]
Sounds like the signaling technology has been adopted by a new project Taara which is similar but on the ground, and not floating from weather balloons.
cozzyd 44 days ago [-]
Long-lasting instrumented moderate altitude balloons are interesting to me for science reasons, so this is unfortunate since it'd be nice if a turnkey commerical solution existed.
jdc 44 days ago [-]
Does anyone know if they published any relevant papers during the project?
deepnotderp 44 days ago [-]
They published one pretty recently on using reinforcement learning to control balloons
ProAm 44 days ago [-]
It was always surreal to see these flying/floating over my city. Couldn't help but feel like you were being further surveilled by Google's all seeing eye.
sahin 44 days ago [-]
“The problem solved quickly then we thought “

Which means Elon Musk SpaceX killed our business :)

yesplorer 44 days ago [-]
What has Elon Musk got to do with that statement?
RIMR 44 days ago [-]
Starlink is going to make low-cost internet connectivity ubiquitous. Though I would agree that we don't need to say "Elon Musk SpaceX" every time we bring up SpaceX. In fact, I'd rather we just leave him out of the conversation since he's mostly embarrassing.
yesplorer 44 days ago [-]
"starlink is going to... "

That is enough to tell you that Loon didn't close shop because of starlink.

It is stated in the article that mobile phones became ubiquitous that telecom companies can justify the cost of setting up base stations because they can now connect thousands of people per location.

That has nothing to do with starlink.

etothepii 45 days ago [-]
Well, it was loonacy.
SirFatty 44 days ago [-]
Can't say that I'm shocked...
rvz 44 days ago [-]
Literally a hot air project.
45 days ago [-]